Vols softball struggles at South Carolina

The Lady Vols (30-4) were swept on the road by No. 16 South Carolina over the weekend. (Photo courtesy of University of Tennessee Athletics)

The University of Tennessee softball team entered the weekend ranked second in the nation with a 30-1 record and a 21-game winning streak.

The Lady Volunteers came out of the weekend on a three-game losing streak.

Tennessee was swept on the road by No. 16 South Carolina, the first time since 2016 the Lady Vols have gone winless in a three-game series.

The Gamecocks (28-4, 5-1) won 8-7 on Friday, 5-4 on Saturday and 15-5 on Sunday in a game that ended after five innings due to the mercy rule and included four errors by the Lady Vols.

Tennessee (30-4, 3-3) struck first Sunday when senior shortstop Meghan Gregg drove in Aubrey Leach in the top of the first inning, and the teams traded runs early until the Gamecocks exploded for eight runs in the third as the Lady Vols used three pitchers in the inning. South Carolina added five runs in the fourth.

On Friday, a wild pitch from Tennessee reliever Gabby Spring in the seventh allowed the winning run to score. On Saturday, Kennedy Clark's seventh-inning single lifted the Gamecocks to the win.

Tennessee will host Georgia in a three-game series starting Saturday.

Contact David Cobb at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @DavidWCobb and on Facebook at facebook.com/volsupdate.